Comfortable oral appliance treatment for sleep apnea in San Francisco
Dr. Leo Arellano offers comfortable oral appliance treatment in San Francisco for sleep apnea, a serious condition that affects more than 18 million Americans. Although CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is the conventional treatment, many patients fail to comply with CPAP due to discomfort and inconvenience. An oral appliance is a terrific alternative for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea.
What is obstructive sleep apnea?
People who have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) stop breathing repeatedly while sleeping, sometimes for a minute, or longer, this can occur hundreds of times per night. The sleeper is usually unaware of these pauses because they don’t cause a full awakening. OSA is caused by the airway becoming blocked, usually by soft tissue collapsing in the rear of the throat. During these pauses, the brain partially wakes the sleeper to signal the need to resume breathing. The result is poor quality, extremely fragmented sleep.
What is oral appliance therapy?
Oral appliance therapy utilizes an appliance similar to an orthodontic retainer or sports guard. It is designed to maintain an unobstructed, open airway when worn while sleeping. Oral appliances custom made by a dental professional are proven more effective than the devices sold over the counter. The doctor may recommend a tongue-retaining appliance, which stabilizes the tongue in a forward position, or a mandibular repositioning appliance, which repositions the lower jaw.
What are the advantages of oral appliance therapy?
- The appliances provided by a dental professional are easy to wear and comfortable. Patients typically require only a couple of weeks to adapt to them.
- The convenient, small appliances are easy to use when traveling
- The non-invasive treatment is reversible
- The compliance rate with oral appliance therapy is higher than CPAP therapy
If applicable, the doctor may also recommend some lifestyle changes such as losing weight, eating healthy, stopping smoking, avoiding sedatives, allergy treatment, changing sleep positions, and developing a good sleep routine. It is also recommended that patients avoid caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals within two hours of bedtime.
Dr. Arellano and his team have extensive experience in helping San Francisco sleep well. Call 415-881-4343 and schedule an appointment today.